Tablets and Laptops for the holidays!

Here is a quick rundown on some tech that may be great for the small business owner. I ran thru the Staples store and jotted down some picks that you should check out and see if they are right for you.

For those of you moving to Windows 8 for the 1st time, one of the things you’ll notice at the store are all the “8 Was Easy” signs. This is basically a program which helps you move to Windows 8, without the stress. You can get free personalized training on the new OS, and with the purchase of a computer that goes for $699 or more, their certified Microsoft advisors will transfer your data from the old machine to the new one, no strings attached!

I always tell people go in to the store and test drive the devices and compare them for yourself. If you haven’t used Windows 8 yet, I’d strongly recommend you try it on both a touchscreen and non-touchscreen device before buying. While you may not know if you want a touchscreen device yet, after trying one out you may be singing a different tune.

Since there are so many different types of tablets, laptops, and in-between devices on the market these days, it’s hard to know what to buy. I’m going to make it easy for you by talking briefly about a few of the choices I found at the Staples store:

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist in Action

It’s a laptop… no it’s a tablet… wait, it’s a Lenovo! The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is a unique laptop because when you need to take it on the go but keep working you just twist the screen around and BAM! You suddenly have a tablet computer in your hands. You can check out my Tech Tip Tuesday video to see it in action—you really won’t believe what a unique device this is and how it bridges the gap between laptop and tablet until you get into a store and try it for yourself though!

Samsung ATIV Windows 8 Tablet

The Samsung ATIV Windows 8 tablet runs an Intel Atom processor, so that means a lot of benefits, like long battery life and no noisy fan. Plus, you can buy a keyboard dock the tablet snaps into and suddenly you’ve turned this tablet into a laptop with a full keyboard and mouse! How cool is that?

HP Envy 4

HP Envy 4 Ultrabook

An Intel Ultrabook-branded laptop at a budget laptop price? Yup! That’s the sub-$700 HP Envy 4, a lightweight and portable machine that will handle almost any task you throw at it, from business work to playing movies or games. Now, because it’s a budget machine, there are some sacrifices you have to be willing to accept. First up, there’s a traditional hard drive in this machine, not an ultra-fast SSD like in some other Ultrabook models like the Sony I talk about below. While that won’t impact gaming or video editing performance, it will mean that the computer is slower to boot up and that apps will launch slower than on some other, more expensive machines. Also, there’s no touchscreen on this one. So you’ll want to go into the store and try it out before deciding if this is the Ultrabook for you.

Sony T13 Touch Ultrabook
This is a touch screen with a screaming fast latest-gen Intel Core i5 processor, a 32GB SSD for Windows & Apps, a 500GB standard hard drive for all your documents, photos and music. 6 GB of RAM, an HD webcam, and of course, the beautiful touchscreen round out the package. With an attractive aluminum lid and awesome Sony style, this is an Ultrabook that makes sure you have it all, and is available for under 900 bucks!

Nexus 7 from Google

Google Nexus 7

While not a Windows 8 device, it’s hard to argue with this Android tablet’s $199 starting price tag. The best made 7” Android tablet on the market, this guy is perfect for working through your email, handling some light editing on documents or spreadsheets, or even just playing a game or watching a movie while traveling. While not a replacement for a laptop by any means, this little guy is a great companion to any of the machines I’ve talked about above.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Hey readers, this is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a gift, a payment or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I have tested personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The best deals this week at Staples

Whether you’re shopping online (and taking advantage of their free shipping online throughout the holiday season) or in-store (to touch and test everything before you buy), you’ll want to make sure Staples is one of the stores you’re including in your shopping plans as Black Friday approaches.

Staples is making it easy for customers to save on technology the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday by making it a week-long event! They are even doing mobile flash sales this year!

Today we’re going to take a look at some of the best deals coming up at Staples.

Pre-Black Friday

Windows 8 Pro – $69.99

Until November 21st, Staples is offering a discount from $199 down to $69 on Windows 8 Pro. If you’re looking to upgrade your operating system this holiday season to the latest from Microsoft, why pay full price?

Windows 8 Pro is similar to Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate. It’s targeted towards tech enthusiasts as well a business customers. Win 8 Pro includes all of the advanced Windows features: remote desktop connections, an encrypted file system, the ability to participate in a Windows Server domain (crucial for some businesses) and more.

Black Friday

HP Pavillion Sleekbook 14” – $299

At $230 off, the HP Sleekbook is a great deal on a bargain laptop. While far from top-of- the-line, the Sleekbook is a bare-bones Windows 8 laptop and includes just enough hardware to get by for basic office and web-based tasks. With only a 1.5Ghz Pentium, 4GB of RAM, and a 320 GB HD, you’re not going to be recording music or editing videos on this, but if you have basic needs you’ll love this for the price. Just keep in mind that it only gets a little over 4 hours of battery life. If you need all-day power, look at some of the other laptop options at Staples.

Toshiba Canvio 1TB Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive – $69

I can’t stress the importance of backup enough. You should have multiple copies of your data in case of emergency. For under seventy bucks, the Toshiba Canvio external is a great & super portable external drive. It runs entirely off USB, so there’s no power cable to lug around, and with a terabyte of space should be more than enough to back up your computer. Take my advice and pick up two—keep one backup at home and the other in a secure, off-site location like your office or a safe deposit box. That way, should tragedy strike at home, you’ll still have another copy of your data.

Kindle Fire HD – $199 w/ $20 Gift Card

Manufacturers don’t make money on tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle line. Instead, they make their money on the books, movies and games you buy. For the consumer, that means you’re not going to see any kinds of discounts on theses tablets this holiday season. You can take advantage of deals like this one, where you claim a rebate online and get a $20 gift card back. If you’re looking at gifting a Kindle this holiday season, this is the best deal you’re going to see. The regular Fire at $159 and the 32GB model for $249 are also eligible for this offer.

Cyber Monday

Brother MFC-J430w Inkjet All-in-One – $49.99

The Brother name means quality, and the bargain price at $50 off on for Cyber Monday means a great deal. This printer is a 4-in-1 inkjet that scans, faxes, copies, and prints at 10 pages per minute in B&W, 5 color, and has built-in WiFi for wireless printing. With the Brother iPrint&Scan app for Apple and Android devices, you can even print JPEG images and PDF documents wirelessly straight from your smartphone or tablet computer. How cool is that?

Mobile Flash Sales

And don’t forget! They also have mobile flash sales you can take part in by visiting from your smartphone. They’ll be hooking you up with hourly coupons you can use online only starting 11 p.m Thursday and running until 5 a.m. on Black Friday. You can also use coupons you find on in-store from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m on Friday.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Hey readers, this is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Staples Tech Tip Tuesday: A Look at Several New Windows 8 Devices

This holiday season, you’ll want to consider shopping at Staples for a hot new Windows 8 device like the ones featured in the video above. From the innovative laptop/tablet hybrid Lenovo Twist, to the Intel-Atom powered Samsung ATIV and the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook, by going in-store and playing with these devices yourself, you’ll be able to really figure out what product will make the right gift for your family or friends. Plus, with the “8 Was Easy” campaign we’ve talked about before, Staples makes sure that you get the help and support you need, for FREE, when upgrading to Microsoft’s latest operating system.

Every Tuesday between November 13, 2012 and December 18, 2012, Staples will be giving away a great piece of technology, including the hottest Ultrabooks, Tablets and Headphones. Tune in every Tuesday to YouTube, Socialcam, or my blog to find out about the product and what’s being given away, then tune into my Twitter account at 7PM Eastern every Tuesday night to answer a question for a chance to win some hot tech!

Win a Lenovo Tablet/Laptop Hybrid at 2pm TODAY!

Starting at 2PM today, I’m hosting a Twitter party to help you with smart gift ideas for the holidays and to help educate you about the new Windows 8. It’s going to be awesome plus @Staples is helping me give away one of the most interesting Windows 8 devices I’ve seen—the Lenovo Twist. And we’re also giving away three $100 gift cards to Staples, so that’s a great way to save on some holiday tech shopping this year!

How can you enter this contest to win? First up, make sure you’re following me on Twitter. You can use the following link to bring up my page:

And then, make sure you’re following Staples, too! Here’s their Twitter account:

Then tune in to my page at 2pm Eastern (that’s 1pm Central, noon Mountain, 11am Pacific time!). We’ll be informing you about Windows 8 and asking questions, and YOUR answer might just win you this awesome Lenovo laptop/tablet hybrid!

Pre-Order Windows 8 Devices for Small Business from Staples

Today Staples started taking Windows 8 pre-orders for a huge variety of devices. It doesn’t officially ship til October 26th, but Windows 8 pre-order will let you be one of the first to get your hands on a brand-new device with Microsoft’s redesigned operating system. There are tons of devices to choose from, from tablets and ultrabooks to high-end touchscreen laptops. Here are a couple of our favorites for mobile productivity:

Staples Windows 8 Pre-Sale Samsung Slate 5
Samsung Series 5
It’s the best of both worlds: the tablet and the laptop. When you pop the tablet into the docking station you get a super-portable laptop that weighs under 2 pounds. Plus it’s designed to work together the the S-Pen stylus, which we love.

Staples Windows 8 Pre-Order Sony VAIO Ultrabook


Sony VAIO Touchscreen Ultrabook
This is dedicated 13.3″ Ultrabook that doesn’t sacrifice ports and connections OR processing power to be incredibly portable, making it a good business choice. Weighs in at 3.77 pounds, with a promised 5.5 hours of battery life, making it a good all-around machine.


There’s more where that came from! See all of the Windows 8 pre-order devices available from Staples.

Staples Windows 8 Pre-Order Devices

Plus Staples has also announced their free “8 Was Easy” program to make the switch completely painless. They’ll help you set up your new machine to take advantage of Windows 8’s new features and optimize your device’s performance. They’ll also walk you through key new features like the new Windows App Store and Skydrive, Microsoft’s new cloud storage program. AND they’ll help you transfer all of your old data to your new machine or a backup device of your choice for free. That’s a lot of incentive to do your Windows 8 upgrade, especially when you throw in the free phone support!

Click here to pre-order your Windows 8 device before the official launch.

Are you planning to upgrade? What do you think of the new tile layout? What upgrades do you want from Windows 8? Let us know!

Pre-order your Windows 8 device today from Staples and get FREE help moving to the new OS

This holiday shopping season, I’m going to be working with Staples to help you pick the best holiday tech gifts! In the coming weeks, you’re going to see some great content from us but I can’t spoil too much of it, so today I’m just bringing you an exciting announcement:

Starting today, Staples is accepting pre-orders for a variety of Windows 8 devices, including slates, tablets, touchscreen laptops and more.

The new “tiles” interface in Windows 8

While Windows 8 devices aren’t in stores quite yet, by pre-ordering one today you can be sure to be one of the first people to bring home one of these exciting new devices. The Windows 8 interface, seen to the right, is a radical change to the operating system from Microsoft, and as these devices start to hit store shelves in the next few weeks you’ll get a chance to see (and to touch!) what Microsoft has been cooking up since Windows 7 launched in 2009.

With the “8 Was Easy” program from Staples, they’re making it super simple to get up and running with your new PC from day one. With any computer purchase of $699 or more, Staples will move all of the data from your old desktop, laptop, or external hard drive to your new computer. Or, you can get that same service for just $69.99 for a computer under $699.

Staples is also offering free personalized training with a Microsoft certified advisor to make sure you learn everything about the new operating system. They’ll show you how to navigate the new interface, set up your tiles on your Start screen to get a personalized Windows 8 experience, walk you through the new Windows App Store, and show you how to get your files into Skydrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage system that will help you backup your documents and access them from anywhere.

And what if you have more questions down the line? Staples will be providing free support to help you with any problem you have moving to Windows 8. They’re got a toll free number you can call 12 hours a day during the week to answer your questions, and they’ll be running that service through the end of January.

You can pre-order a Windows 8 device from Staples today by visiting the link:

But what if you need a machine right now, and want to upgrade to Windows 8 when it’s launched later this month? Staples has a great solution for that too.

The Windows 8 upgrade offer from Staples is a great value if you need a machine right now. First up, you can get the Windows 8 upgrade when it’s available for just $15 from Microsoft by registering your purchase at Then, you can get a $15 pre-paid Visa gift card back from Staples by registering at Finally, you get online training and free phone support from Staples so you’ll be covered if you run into any problems migrating to the new OS. So you’re practically getting Windows 8 for free, plus free tech support. It’s a win-win.

Get into a Staples and Go Hands on with the latest eReaders to decide on a gift this Holiday Season

As most of you know by now, I partnered with Staples this holiday season to bring you info on the latest tech and gadgets they’re offering. This winter one of the hottest tech gifts will be eReaders and Staples will be a great place to go and get hands on with some of the latest tech. On top of the Kindle Fire which they’re carrying (and I JUST got my hands on—stay tuned for a review!) Staples is just now announcing that they’re carrying the NOOK Tablet as well!

I’ve always said this but it seems worth repeating—if you can’t decide on the latest tech, there’s only ONE way to figure it out, and that’s to go into a store and TRY IT OUT! Can’t decide between the NOOK and the Kindle Fire? Then get into a Staples and try one yourself.

I know, we’re all busy these days, so what if you can’t make it into a store? Staples is all about making things EASY so check this out—they’ve got a whole section of their website devoted to helping you choose the best eReader. It’s called the eReader Research Center and it’s a great resource. Whether you’re struggling to decide between WiFi and 3G, e-Ink vs. LCD, or just trying to figure out if what you actually want is a tablet computer, Staple’s eReader research center is the best place to look!

The best feature though has gotta be their product comparison tool:

This is the simplest way to check out all the latest eReaders from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony and Pandigital side-by-side and figure out which one is the right fit for you.

And hey, while I’ve got you—don’t forget to enter my $2,300 tech makeover. I’ve teamed up with Staples this holiday season to bring you absolutely all the tech you need to transform your life this winter, including a tablet, an eReader, a laptop, printer, router… I mean really EVERYTHING you’ll need to be up-to-date with the absolute latest tech.

But don’t forget—get off that computer and into a store! Staples Easytech associates are like little Mario’s running around to help you out with the latest tech gadgets. If you can’t decide which gift is right for you or a loved one, then they’re the people you need to figure it out!

$2300 CONTEST: Staples Carries the Tech You Need!

If you’ve been glued to the set today or listening to radio on the way to work, you’ve probably heard from Mario Armstrong—he’s bringing a message from Staples with holiday gift ideas and this little tech giveaway he’s doing where the grand prize is a measly $2,300 in tech goodies.

But it’s not just the kids or a loved one who need some new tech in their lives—home offices and home networks need tech upgrades too! With so many of us working from the den, the couch, the kitchen table and sometimes even the bed, it’s important that we have the latest and greatest to keep us productive. So hit the video below with some ideas from Mario for the home office, brought to you by Staples: